Frankenstein v The Wolfman v Dracula v a Duck – Joseph Farley

(with fond memories of playing monsters with my brothers)

The fight was going well,
all destruction and other people’s blood,
the kind of fight a monster could be proud of
until the duck flew in through the window.

A raven would have been alright.
That would have been in keeping with the mood.
A crow might have been acceptable,
even a magpie or a vulture,

but not a duck.
It was a finger given by God,
worse than a poke in the eye,
an insult,
a kick in the metaphoric balls.

It meant they had to fight
all the harder,
prove they were real,
that they belonged
in children’s nightmares.

Dracula lost his teeth.
Frankenstein broke an arm.
The Wolfman had a close shave
with a silver hammer,
but got done in
by a roller skate
on a staircase.

And the duck,
it flew over the wreckage
quacking and dodging blows,
occasionally dropping
an egg on a head.

In the morning it flew out the window,
squawking in triumph,
leaving the cleaning lady
to find the mess left behind,
bind wounds, apply splints, patch egos,
and listen to the boys
blaming each other
about who started it.

Joseph Farley worked for the Free Library of Philadelphia for six years as a Library Page and as a Library Assistant. Part of his job was shelving books and magazines. He has had over 1300 poems and 139 short stories published over the past 40 years, and edited nine literary magazines, most notably Axe Factory Review. He also ran Cynic Press for ten years. He has had two short story collections published: For The Birds (Cynic) and Farts and Daydreams (Dumpster Fire). His novel Labor Day is available from Peasantry Press. He has authored eight chapbooks of poetry and one book length collection, Suckers. His work has appeared in The Writing Disorder, Frost Zone, Ygdrasil, Schlock, Horror Sleaze Trash, Painted Bride, One Trick Pony, Wilderness House Review, Pearl, Lummox, Home Planet News Online, Mad Swirl, Apocalypse Confidential, Corvus Review, Eunoia Review, and many other places.

Leave a Reply